How the Epsilon Rho Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Uses memberplanet’s Events Features to Boost Revenue by 247%
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is one of the nation's largest African American women's organizations. The sorority is predicated on the ideals of scholarship, service, sisterly love, and finer womanhood. The Epsilon Rho Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta is the Northern Delaware Graduate Chapter, and has served the New Castle County area since 1955. Despite the chapter’s support of Zeta Phi Beta’s work on prominent community initiatives, Epsilon Rho Zeta struggled to raise the funds needed to efficiently plan its own events. Its administrators spent too much time chasing after bounced checks and outstanding dues. Since partnering with memberplanet, the chapter has streamlined processes, improved fundraising transparency, and increased online revenue for its top three events by 247%.
Epsilon Rho Zeta was actively involved in prominent initiatives on headquarters’ level, including March of Dimes and American Cancer Society. However, chapter administrators found it challenging to raise the funds needed to support their own operational functions. “It was difficult to plan events and fundraisers as we never knew exactly what resources we would have available — only what we expected to have,” Michelle Mack-Williams, the chapter’s First Vice President, said. New and existing members paid their dues by check or cash, which created a number of hurdles. “We’d have to keep manual records of who paid and who hadn’t, so we could follow up on outstanding dues.” Time that could be spent fundraising or planning events went to chasing down members with an outstanding balance. Bounced checks led to uncomfortable conversations and funding delays, Mack-Williams admitted.
Members and donors expect line-item transparency for financial transactions, and Greek organizations that have fallen behind on technology often struggle to help members and supporters understand how and where their dues and donations are being used. Not only does this impact people’s willingness to give, it also affects an organization’s ability to understand the effectiveness of its initiatives, making it difficult to determine what events are most successful in raising funds.
Once the chapter teamed up with memberplanet, the ability and convenience of making donations and paying dues electronically, rather than only accepting checks or cash payments, drastically boosted event revenue. Chapter administrators could easily promote and manage events online with mass emailing and tracking tools, online RSVPs, and the mobile app. In fact, revenue for its three most significant annual events has increased a combined total of more than 247% since 2014.
Increase of Efficiency Leads to Reduction of Cost
Mack-Williams and the executive board of Epsilon Rho Zeta originally chose memberplanet to streamline fundraising for its youth and chapter activities.
“I am always looking for new ways to stay organized, and when I first found memberplanet, that was the driver,” Mack-Williams said. “We have been able to streamline our processes, and this has yielded time savings in both manpower and efficiencies. Having the ability to track payments for individual youth activities and to export those reports for reconciliation was a huge bonus. We recently implemented online registration packets, like our youth application and debutante application, which are completely electronic. This has allowed us to get everything completed in one shot.”
Promoting the chapter’s up to 11 annual fundraising events online has improved the chapter’s reach and member engagement, resulting in both increased collections and reduced costs for the chapter. And memberplanet has allowed the chapter to go completely green for dues, event tickets, and applications.
Improvements in Transparency and Reporting
As Epsilon Rho Zeta’s fundraising initiatives have increased, so has its reporting requirements. At first, the sorority only used the platform for a few events. As it ramped up on activities, administrators also increased their use of memberplanet. Mack-Williams lauds memberplanet for its scalability and credits the support team for getting to know the chapter’s unique needs.
“I believe improved transparency and reporting accuracy have allowed us to track our data more efficiently,” Mack-Williams said. “We are a more agile chapter because of the technology that is at our fingertips at any given moment, and that is satisfaction that you cannot measure in dollars and cents.”
A Closer Look at Epsilon Rho Zeta’s Online Results
An All-in-one, Scalable Fundraising and Membership Solution
The Epsilon Rho Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta implemented memberplanet at the end of December 2013. Since then, the platform has helped the chapter to increase revenues, cut costs, and has provided transparency into its fundraising efforts. The platform’s regular tech upgrades and enhancements have aided the chapter in meeting its increasing needs – and Mack-Williams sees the platform as a toolkit that’s integral to Epsilon Rho Zeta’s continued success and growth.
Contact memberplanet today if you would like to see how the platform can help your organization succeed.